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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Joiner stripped of captain label, status for LSU uncertain

UF strong safety Tony Joiner practiced with the team Wednesday, but his status for Saturday's game against No. 1 LSU is still up in the air, Coach Urban Meyer said.

Joiner was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of felony burglary after allegedly breaking into a towing company impound lot and attempting to remove his girlfriend's car.

Meyer said he is still waiting to see how the legal issues sort out before making a decision on whether Joiner will play or even make the trip to Baton Rouge, La., but he said the senior is no longer a team captain.

"My biggest issue is he was out at a ridiculous hour of the morning," Meyer said. "That's not behavior I expect out of the captains."

The state attorney's office may not decide until well after Saturday's game if official charges will be brought against Joiner.

Recordings of two 911 calls made by employees of Watson's Towing & Recovery were released by the Gainesville Police Department on Wednesday.

In the first call, an employee states that someone broke into the lot, and the employee identifies the man as Joiner. In the second, an employee urges the dispatcher to send police quickly because "they're getting up in our face."

Shouting voices can be heard in the background of both calls.

Stan Forron, who owns the lot used by Watson's Towing, said he believes the situation was a misunderstanding and that Joiner was not trying to steal the car.

Meyer said he doesn't know how he will handle the situation if some legal resolution is not reached prior to this weekend's game.

"The word 'felony' was out there," Meyer said. "If he's charged with a felony, absolutely not. We have a set of core values at the University of Florida football team. If you break a core value - in the last three years you've seen it - people don't play. If you make a mistake, you correct the mistake and you move on. That's what I am waiting to find out. It's not a core value issue, but if it's a legal issue, then we'll have to take care of that."

Sophomore Dorian Munroe is expected to fill in should Joiner not play Saturday. Senior Kyle Jackson and redshirt freshmen Jamar Hornsby and Bryan Thomas would also be in the mix.

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Freshman Major Wright is expected to start at free safety.

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